It’s a bummer of a day for fans of that vintage video rental experience in New Jersey, as what is thought to be the last known operating video rental store in the Garden State is preparing to close its doors permanently after a nearly 30-year run. That’s right, Videovores: According to New Jersey News 12, Bob’s Video Time in Brick, NJ is believed to be the last living video rental store in the entire state of New Jersey, and tomorrow, it’s shutting down for good.
A nice shot of the VIDEO TIME storefront, as captured by Barry Lincoln (Photo Cred: @barry_lincoln83 on Instagram)
You can view an informative little video and catch some images of the shop along with quotes from co-owner Donna Karpodinis and a younger customer in this New Jersey News 12 post, but here in Lunchmeat Land, you know we hold these rental spaces near and dear, so we’re delighted to be able to bring a more personal and unique touch to honoring Video Time’s legacy with a send-off from fellow Tapehead, radical artist and all-around groovy dude Joe La Scola, who has frequented this video rental location since he was just a kid.
Another shot of the VIDEO TIME sign, this time taken by Joe La Scola, originally posted on his Instagram account.
You may recognize La Scola’s name from projects like Field of Screams, creating those killer custom Wizard Video kicks and the recent (but now sold out) line of VIDEORAMA VHS Cover Trading Cards. If you’re familiar with any of these projects, you’re well-aware that VHS has been a huge inspiration to Joe in his creative endeavors, and Bob’s Video Time played an essential role in acquiring that ardent appreciation.
A fantastic photo from Joe, featuring an original rental case from Bob’s Video Time, along with some tapes discovered at the spot. This RULES.
So, without any further ado, here’s Joe and his recollection of this wonderful rental establishment as Bob’s Video Time closes down for good tomorrow, February 11th 2017…
Bob’s has been a part of my life since I was three years old. Some of my earliest memories are of going there to rent movies – which I guess says a lot. My mother would take me to Bob’s every Friday to rent movies and get fried chicken from the Jersey Farms in the same plaza – and Spider Bites candy, can’t forget that. Bob would always have something new for me behind the counter. I remember the first time I saw ‘A Gnome Named Gnorm.’ He had just gotten it in and thought I would like it because of the weird creature on the cover. He also had a ton of posters and all the cool store-display stuff for new home video releases. I remember taking home a huge ‘Mortal Kombat’ standee and a ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ poster.
As I got older, he’d let me rent the R-rated horror stuff without my mom being there, and the rest is history. He had everything. I look back now and it kind of blows my mind thinking about how much I’ve actually seen just from his store alone. And if he didn’t have something, he’d get it. Every once and a while, I’d thumb through a catalogue he ordered from and pick a few movies – always horror, of course.
I still remember exactly how it used to smell, too. Not too long ago I smelled the same exact scent while looking for some air fresheners in Wal-Mart. Low and behold, Hawaiian Breeze was the magical scent. Needless to say, I scooped up a few for that reason alone. It’s amazing how something like that puts you right back into your ten-year-old shoes – zooming around the aisles, rabid for something to scare the hell out of you and your friends for Saturday’s sleepover.
My passion for movies is derived almost directly from this store, and it was my source of wonder and excitement for a long time. This is the place where I was introduced to everything from ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ to ‘Faces of Death.’ The store really means a lot to me, and I’m sad to see it go. I honestly thought it would be there forever, considering I’m pushing thirty and had just stopped in a few months ago. I mean, the store is as old as I am and technically I’ve been a patron for the duration. It was a big part of my life and I’m glad I, along with many others, got to enjoy it.
You know we can dig it, Joe. Bob’s Video Time: we’re also sad to see you go, but damn it, man, that was good run!
Anyone out there care to share their most cherished video store memories? Shout ‘em out in comments below, Tapeheads! As the physical rental store experience slowly becomes a practice of the past, , it’s the collective remembrances of our personal experiences basking in these stores’ distinct charms that will help these places to live on. And that’s pretty groovy, man.